Bad Data is like a virus

Bad or Dirty Data refers to information that can be erroneous, misleading, and without general formatting. Unfortunately, no industry, organization, or department is immune to it.

Bad Data is unavoidable and like a virus to businesses; however, similar to a virus, once it is ‘cured’ the organisation is usually stronger and far less likely to fall prey to repeat instances. Such as it is, not everything about it is bad – you can look at Bad Data as a good thing for your business, if you know how to use it and how to avoid it happening again.

How Bad Data happens to Good Companies

The number one source of Bad Data is people; when they fill in online forms with fake data to gain access to some content, or perhaps they really do not know their home zip code, or maybe a telephone number is not in the format that the CRM system recognises. All these things happen and although it may not have been intended maliciously, it becomes Bad Data.

These aren’t the only ways it happens, but are very common examples of how it creeps in and can have various adverse effects on your business. Since we take it for granted that every business has to deal with Bad Data, there are systems in place to single out the bad from the good.


Automation makes it quicker and simpler to find errors

Human error is a terrible, and often avoidable cause of Bad Data. We see many ‘homemade’ solutions where Financial Managers or their teams have become frustrated and created complex templates and workbooks that import data and run a number of formulas and macros in order to collate data necessary for their month end reports. The problem with these networks of workbooks is there are so many opportunities for error that it becomes hard to manage and even harder to find where errors have occurred even though they have checks and balances in place.

The automation solutions that we build for businesses achieve the same desired result of collated information, however the human error is reduced drastically and if there are any errors then our solution is able to show them what is wrong and where to find it to fix it. This saves countless hours of wading through copious data, and ensures considerably less Bad Data. Read more about automated reporting >>


Don’t let your Bad Data go to waste!

All data is good data, it just depends if you are willing to analyse it. Bad Data can show you, for example, that your online forms are ambiguous or difficult to use because of a high number of Bad Data submitted on particular forms. Using that information you can improve the usability of your web interfaces. By using data that you would usually throw out, you can more easily be alerted of areas of improvement that you may never have come across before and possibly increasing your conversion rate and consequently your sales numbers. So next time, don’t just throw out the bad and keep the good, because with data, it’s all good.